Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Solstice Eclipse

Just back from watching the eclipse.

I didn't think we would see much of it. At first, as we walked up to the reservoir, it looked like there would be too many clouds in the way. Around 10:40 PM DST, a crescent moon appeared in rents in the cloud cover, only to be whisked out of sight.

There was quite a crowd at the reservoir. The quiet and refined group was made up of the astronomy club. The other group was more interested in howling at the moon and doing some sort of spiral dance.

We got a little sprinkled on, but persevered as the crescent moon became thinner and thinner. I managed to get a few views through a telescope - once of a silver sliver, and once of tattered shreds of cloud passing in front of an dull orange totality.

A cold front passed through, and I was sure that it was going to rain really hard (it didn't). So we left. A little later, we hit a dark spot on the sidewalk and noticed that the moon was a brilliant orange right above Orion. We stopped, thankful to be away from the howling circus (which we could hear in the distance).

We sang (quietly) old Christmas carols and various Neo-Pagan songs as we traveled from dark alley to dark alley. It was a wonderful close to an early birthday celebration (which included family, friends, chocolate, sherry, and haiku eclipse poetry).
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